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Don't waste your Louis Vuitton bags!

November 21, 2017

This morning I was at the workshop talking to my team about recent cases received at Honest Crafters.


Apparently, we have been getting increasingly more enquiries on LV bag restoration.



Well that's a good news for us but why am I talking about it?


Because we notice most customers seeking help for their LV bags actually do not know what is vachetta leather or the patina process.


In our Leather Secrets, I briefly mentioned about vachatte leather and the patina process.


But I guess I should have gone deeper into details so more of you would understand what they are.


But fret not, I shall go through everything in detail right here!


Before we start, if you know of any friends/family who are fans of LV, please share this article with them or tag them in the Facebook comment.


Trust me, they will thank you for it ;)


Okay, now let's dive into it!


For a start, here's a quick definition of vachetta leather and patina process.


Vachetta Leather - A type of untreated cowhide leather with a buttery appearance, usually used as trimmings for luxury bags or luggage. It has been popularised and closely linked with LV since many LV bag models use the vachetta leather. One key aspect to note is that vachetta leather is untreated and hence susceptible to water, oil and stains easily.


Patina - It is a process where vachetta leather turns from light beige/pink to dark brown over years of usage and exposure to natural elements such as sunlight and natural oils. It is an unavoidable process. The unique thing about Patina is that the process is unique and no two bags will age (turn colour) the same way.


As a result of patina process, the leather trimmings, handles and straps (these parts are usually made with vachetta leather) of new LV bags are light and pinkish in colour and will turn dark brown colour over time.


Unfortunately, vachetta leather is untreated and hence very prone to stains, mould or wear & tears.


It is the "weakest link" of a bag and most of the time the leather breaks down way before the other parts of the bag do.


Here are some pics (from actual customer enquiries) to help you understand better. You can see that serious tears, damage and stains are very common.


For those of you with old LV bags, I'm sure you have experienced at least 1 or 2 of the above common problems before.


And if you think these bags look like their days are up and time to be thrown away, you are not alone. 


Most people throw away (or forever banish into the storeroom) their LV bags when they are at this stage. 


But that's actually really wasteful!


These LV bags can still be saved and restored to very good conditions!


And the best thing - it will only cost a mere couple hundred dollars to save and renew the lifespan of these few thousand-dollars bags!


Do you want to know how?


The solution is you can simply do a vachetta leather replacement for the bag. 


What happens is the crafters will strip off all the existing vachetta leather trimmings, straps and handles and replace them with newly crafted ones using genuine vachetta leather.


Here are some actual examples of LV leather replacement cases we have previously done. Don't they look brand new?








Isn't it amazing what you can do with an old unwanted chuck-worthy LV bag?


Perhaps you can even camp at the dumpster and wait for one to be thrown so you can make them brand new again to resell (just kidding.... or am I? ;))


While replacing all the vachetta leather will grant your bag a new life (and higher resale value!), another good news is that this also means all your vachetta leather would revert back to the brand new state of pinkish/beige colour!


Of course, over time the patina process will take place and the leather will darken.


Personally I love the new pinkish colour and wish it will never darken! 


But from our experience, some customers do love the seasoned and darkened look of their vachetta leather.


For those who wish to maintain the seasoned look, you may consider changing just the damaged part of the vachetta leather instead of all the vachetta leather. 



If you only partially replace the leather, there will be a colour difference at the start, but over time and usage, the new vachetta leather will season back to more or less a similar shade of dark brown and the colour difference will not be that obvious anymore.


Aside from LV, bags from other brands can receive a similar leather replacement too.


The only difference is that the replacement will not be with vachetta leather, but likely with a similar calf leather or lambskin which the bag currently uses.


Here's a Gucci leather replacement we did with calf leather instead of vachetta leather.



The leather trimming and handles were discoloured (turned yellowish) and the customer wanted to restore it back to dark brown.


We did it as requested and doesn't it look like a brand new bag now? :)


Well now that you are armed with this knowledge, isn't it exciting for you and for all those who have LV bags?


Make sure to share this with your friends/family who own LV bags. They will definitely thank you for it.


If you have a bag which requires a change of leather, get in touch with my team at 97879271 (whatsapp) or hello@honestcrafters.com to get a quotation.


Want to drop by?

Head down to 

#02-08/08A  Raffles City Shopping Centre

shop name Gracious Aires

Open  everyday 10:30am - 10pm!


Remember to send in a couple of photos of your bag as well so we know what you are dealing with.


Here's a "brand new" LV bag (actually its a leather replacement and exterior leather polish, this bag is at least 15 years old....) to end off this article!


That's it for today's sharing from me. If you have enjoyed what you read, remember to subscribe to our blog and we will talk soon!


 PS: If you still have not read our Leather Secrets, be sure to download a copy here for free. It contains useful tips and information on how to use, store and maintain all your leather bags (not just LV, other brands too!). See you on the other side!


With love,

Grace Guo

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